Adelaide captain Chelsea Randall is now a four-time AFLW Players’ Most Courageous Award, proudly supported by Our Watch, winner after claiming the coveted title for the 2021 season. Partner and teammate, MJ Rajčić, wrote a piece for aflplayers.com.au on the valiant Crows leader.
Chelsea Randall is one of the most selfless people I have ever met.
She wears her heart on her sleeve and she would do anything for any one of us; she genuinely cares about each and every one of her teammates.
She is innately brave, with a hunger for the spectacular.
If the ball is in the air, she’ll fly for it and make it hers. If it’s at the bottom of the pack, she’ll charge in there, rip it out and play on. She always wants to keep fighting, and that’s just who she is.
Before the AFLW’s inception, she lived in Newman, Western Australia, from which she regularly made the 13-hour long trek to Perth, play footy, then drive back.
But she was undaunted, because not even a 26-hour round trip behind the wheel could obstruct her glowing passion for women’s football.
When she was playing at Safety Bay Stingers, sometimes they would only have six or seven girls at training, so whenever someone new came in, she went out of her way to ensure they came back.
Eventually, those numbers grew to 24, 25 and beyond.
Her welcoming, caring nature is something she developed from a young age, and has played a role in growing the game.
I can still recall rocking up to a Crows testing day in 2016 without knowing any of the other players there.
I was so nervous.
“If the ball is in the air, she’ll fly for it and make it hers. If it’s at the bottom of the pack, she’ll charge in there, rip it out and play on.”
At the time, I had no idea she was the marquee signing, but Chelsea was one of the first people to introduce herself.
She had so much energy, and although she was just meeting everyone for the first time herself, she had already begun to introduce everyone to each other. She was introducing me to players she had met only two seconds before me!
Her anterior crucial ligament rupture at the end of 2019 was one major setback during AFLW, being forced to the sidelines killed her.
The rehab path is even lengthier and lonelier than that 13-hour drive down the desert highway, but she still wanted to do everything she could for the team.
She would come to the club early to do her rehab session, which meant she could be out on the training track while we were out there. You look at her now, though, and it’s as if she wasn’t even out for a day.
I’m so proud of her. I know she would be humbled and proud of this achievement, but it illustrates how well-recognised she is by her peers and how respected she is by her opposition.
She’s one the courageous players that we have ever seen in this game.